1531476 Reginald James DOGGETT, Royal Artillery: POW

Discussion in 'Malaya' started by Charley Fortnum, Jan 11, 2020.

  1. Charley Fortnum

    Charley Fortnum Dreaming of Red Eagles

    Here's a little project I've been pondering. There are a number of separate threads, feel free to pull on any that you can.

    I've finally got my hands on a photo album bought at auction last year. Provenance is hazy, but it appears to belong to the man mentioned above: Gnr. Reg (presumably 'Reginald') Doggett.

    The point of interest to me is that this man served with 26 Field Regt R.A. in TAMPIN (Malaya) in the early 1950s and the collection shows a number of pictures of his and his comrades' lives in camp and in the jungle. As some of you might recall, my grandfather served with 25 Field Regt and his field battery, 54 (Maharajapore) Bty was attached to 26 Field Regt during this period. The images are very small, but the resolution is good, so they 'blow up' quite well.

    Here's two for flavour:



    Tipped in with the album came a few articles of paperwork and some photographs of relatives, but also a few separate images of our man. The surprise to me (the collection was described as 'Malaya') was that the album stretched beyond the regiment's stint in the Far East and into their time in HOMS (Syria) and later Egypt. It looks as though Gnr. Doggett was transferred to the reserve (and left the army) on 5 Sept 1952. I have both regimental and battery diaries for this post-war period, but this man features in none of them.

    When onboard the Empire Trooper:



    The tantalising part is that tucked into the final page are some images from an earlier period, one, as you can see, sent to his parents from STALAG XVIII A, which suggests two possibilities: either there is an earlier period of his service about which I know nothing (a period during the Second World War), or he worked there in the period 1945-48, during which it was run by British occupation forces as an internment camp for Nazis and war criminals.

    Stalag XVIII-A - Wikipedia

    I'm erring towards option one as the camp was renamed Camp 373, but there's the possibility that this was sent very soon after the war, I suppose. Perhaps I'm wrong, but if I were taking photographs, I wouldn't pick that one to send home to Mum; I'd guess he was a prisoner. There is a code of some kind and a stamp, neither of which mean anything to me; I'd be grateful if anybody could shed some light. Confusingly, the page at which the setting changes from Malaya to North Africa and the Middle-East bears the inscription (I think): "I have been here so long that is feels like home"--In German!? Could he have learnt a little of the language while in captivity, or is this a famous quotation of which I am unaware? Does Doggett feature in any PW lists?




    Finally, as a complete sideline, one of Reg Doggett's friends or relatives seems to have been an RAF man (I think). There are two or three images of him in uniform examining Luftwaffe wreckage (in the UK?). Is anybody able to add anything about him (or the aeroplane in which he is posing)?



    (I know nothing about RAF uniforms--what do his patches denote?)

    Thanks in advance, fellow detectives.
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2020
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  2. Charley Fortnum

    Charley Fortnum Dreaming of Red Eagles

    I now have his DOB: 1531476 R J Doggett Royal Artillery 30/09/1916

    From here:
    Information From WO416 - a Freedom of Information request to National Archives

    And his WO-416 Card (although I'm not 100% clear what that is). He seems to have first arrived in this camp on 31/7/42.


    I will laugh heartily if this chase brings me back to 'First Alamein' and 4th Indian Div!

    He seems to have given some kind of statement regarding a war crime:

    Screenshot 2020-01-11 at 22.17.48.png

    The Colditz Myth
    Stalag 18A, 17574 Work Camp, Tanzeldorf, Austria: killing of Australian POWs | The National Archives

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Jan 11, 2020
  3. dbf

    dbf Moderatrix MOD

    His German isn't correct but the meaning is essentially clear enough, and it shows he's picked up his language colloquially :
    “heir hab' ich lang getraumtd von Heimat” = Hier habe ich lang von der Heimat geträumt = I long dreamt of home here.
    As I would put it: I spent a good while here feeling homesick.

    Via Ancestry, Fold3 for which I don't have have a subscription to view:
    Name: R. J. Doggett
    Rank: Gnr.
    Military Date: 1939-1945
    Regiment: R.A.
    Service Number: 1531476
    Source Description: 11: Imperial Prisoners of War Held in Germany or German-Occupied Territory: British Army
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  4. Charley Fortnum

    Charley Fortnum Dreaming of Red Eagles

  5. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    R J Doggett in the UK, British Prisoners of War, 1939-1945
    Name: R J Doggett
    Rank: Gunner
    Army Number: 1531476
    Regiment: Royal Artillery
    POW Number: 4172
    Camp Type: Stalag
    Camp Number: XVIII-A
    Camp Location: Wolfsberg, Austria
    Record Office: Royal Artillery (Light Anti-Aircraft) Record Office, Ibex House, The Minories, London, EC3
    Record Office Number: 6

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  6. Charley Fortnum

    Charley Fortnum Dreaming of Red Eagles

    I forgot to include the picture of Reg Doggett's friend or relative (brother or cousin would seem likely):

  7. dbf

    dbf Moderatrix MOD

    He'd probably be on FindMyPast - War Office Casualty lists (WO 417) - which might well give unit then, as well as Theatre and Date of capture. (Currently don't have a sub for that either.)
  8. Charley Fortnum

    Charley Fortnum Dreaming of Red Eagles

    Me, neither.

    A coconut for anybody who can oblige!
  9. AB64

    AB64 Senior Member

    154/52 LAA regiment missing 28/4/41

    I claim my coconut
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  10. AB64

    AB64 Senior Member

    Missed saying Greece
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  11. Charley Fortnum

    Charley Fortnum Dreaming of Red Eagles


    Which allows me to find these photos here:

    1731/L, Spitz [They have 'mine' from above]

    266/L, Schloss Brunsee
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  12. dbf

    dbf Moderatrix MOD

    using Tag: 52 light anti aircraft regiment ra | WW2Talk
    found this post -
    52nd Light A.A. REgiment R.A. (T.A)

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  13. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

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  14. Charley Fortnum

    Charley Fortnum Dreaming of Red Eagles

    Looks as if these may be required:

    WO 169/327 Royal Artillery: 52 Light Anti-Aircraft Regiment 1940 (Aug.- Dec.)
    WO 169/1640 52 Light Anti-Aircraft (LAA) Regiment 1941 (Jan.- Dec.)
    WO 169/4893 52 Light Anti-Aircraft (LAA) Regiment 1942 (Jan.- Dec.)
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2020
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  15. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    Never seen inverted chevron on RAF chaps before.
    Ask Harry Ree about those.
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  16. Charley Fortnum

    Charley Fortnum Dreaming of Red Eagles

  17. Charley Fortnum

    Charley Fortnum Dreaming of Red Eagles

    The gods really are smiling today. I have a 'capture narrative' of a man with 154/52 LAA Regt. They went into captivity at about 22:00 on 28/4/41. The poor chap had a long old time in which to learn German, it seems.

    And - drumroll - they were taken to Stalag XVIII-A!

    I was conscripted into the army on 18th April 1940 and after a short period of training at Blandford Army Camp Dorset, I was posted to a Lancashire Regiment 154 Battery 52nd Light ack ack (Bofor guns) and on 9thSeptember I was in Egypt and still hadn’t seen a Bofor’s gun. We were then sent to Greece and were stationed to guard an airfield just outside Athens. When the Germans attacked we were told to move to a port called Argos where we were bombed continually by Stuka’s, eventually we ran out of ammunition and we were told to ‘blow’ our guns. There were ships anchored about ½ mile from the quay waiting to take us off however we had to take our turn to be ferried in flat bottomed boats out to them. I got into one of them at about 5.00 am and we were about half way out to them when they all up-anchored and sailed away.

    When we returned to shore we were told to go to ‘T’ beach, as far south as we could go (Kalamata) where boats would come in on 28th or 29th April. It was on that long walk that I came across a sailor who was soaking wet and shivering so I gave him my greatcoat, but I unfortunately forgot that I had a tin of bully beef in one of my pockets and I had lost sight of the chap. We got to ‘T’ beach about 8.30 in the morning of 28th and at about 9.30 the first Germans turned up and commenced sniping us, most of the Germans were paratroopers.

    This little village, which is what it was, was located at the foot of a hill and there were about 3000 of us there besides the inhabitants. We had about 100 rifles between the lot of us, so we were hoping that the ships would hurry and turn up. However they didn’t turn up that night so we had to keep our heads down and hope for tomorrow. However the 29th only brought more sniping from the hill above the village and we were just hanging on hoping that the ships would come that night, but they never did. The Germans that night sent a captured Brigadier under a flag of truce, with a message stating that if we didn’t surrender they would bomb the village together with the villagers until it was flattened; so about 10.00 that night the Brigadier marched us out into captivity.

    Continues at length:
    Charlie Fairman
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2020
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  18. Charley Fortnum

    Charley Fortnum Dreaming of Red Eagles

    Interesting. It could be a coincidence, but I have this

    No. 4 Service Flying Training School, Saskatoon, SK

    19-6-41 Flying day and night. Crane 7680 (Pilot: F/O Thompson, R. W. - Student - L.A.C. Doggett, A. A. Course 30) crashed at Osler aerodrome, while practicing circuits and landings. Collapse of starboard oleo leg. League games between R.C.A.F. teams and city teams took place. Softball, R.C.A.F. (8) vs. K. of C. (2); Baseball, R.C.A.F. (8) vs. Cubs (9); R.C.A.F. personnel from the Bombing and Gunnery School visited the station and engaged in a scoreless gamr of football. After a tour of the station they returned to Dafoe by bus.

    27-6-41 Flying day and night. Crane 7704 crashed at Osler Aerodrome. Pilot: L.A.C. Doggett uninjured. Aircraft during landing went up on wing tip and nosed to ground with considerable force breaking both engines. The semi-monthly mess dinner was held and the outride guests present were, Mr. R. F. Strickland, Prof. Hopkins of the Faculty of Law, University of Saskatchewan, and Major Angus McNeil.

    A brother learning to fly overseas?
  19. Charley Fortnum

    Charley Fortnum Dreaming of Red Eagles

    And to do the man justice, here's a clear picture of him in better days (Tampin).


    On the premise that the RAF man is a brother, is anybody (AB64 if he's not had his fill of coconut) able to investigate FMP for a man named DOGGETT from POLEGATE/SUSSEX, perhaps at L.A.C. or similar rank during the war or shortly after?
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  20. Charley Fortnum

    Charley Fortnum Dreaming of Red Eagles

    It doesn't get us very far, I admit, but here's a current image of his family home, 'Delcote' in Dittons Road, Polegate (property centre).

    I was trying to match it with photographs of some of his relatives in the back garden, but extensions have been built to the back and sides of the house.

    Screenshot 2020-01-12 at 01.38.14.png

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